Frugal to the end

Perhaps I was the only viewer watching the taxi-meter during the latest soi-disant “debate” in Natted States. I attribute this to all my Caledonian ancestors, on my mama’s side, currently spinning in their respective graves. Or, more precisely, the Scandihoovians who de- and then re- populated Caledonia’s outer islands, probably as a consequence of trying to learn the Gaelic. (In the end they got it, though.)

These ancestors also eventually learnt to count, and that proved to be a great “game changer.” Murder may be in the nature of Scotland’s outer tribes, but extravagance certainly is not.

As the candidates in this “reality show” were speaking, I was toting up their proposed damage. What would their flowery promises cost, to do things like change the world’s climate, or eliminate carbon from our daily lives? A trillion here and a trillion there, as the saying goes. It all adds up.

The candidate on the epistle side of the “debating” stage was, as ever, the more profligate. Each of his generous proposals would cost a trillion or more; usually a few trillion, or many. Plus, there were details that caught my attention, such as a scheme to make all the capitalists pay a minimum wage that would sink them, coupled with a scheme to bail them all out from being sunk. The candidate himself, who struck me as slow-witted, did not seem aware of his joke. Later he proposed to phase out the oil industry.

On the gospel side, the other candidate, who has by his instigations already blown through enough trillions to finance several foreign wars, just trying to fight some virus from China, came across as the fiscal conservative. None of his proposals exceeded the GDP of a large European country.

Granted, this is a little-known fact, but plagues can’t be stopped. This was known before the latest one landed, but has apparently been forgotten. One just has to endure them. Modern medicine may reduce the death toll here, while increasing it there, but hey. Almost all who are infected were following social distancing protocols, and have always been doing so, for the last four millennia, at least. But plagues were designed to sprint around and through them.

Designed, I said. By whom?

Well, I cannot blame the Communist Party of China for any of those which began prior to Saturday, 23rd July, 1921.

But let us not be distracted by mortality. Back to counting money.

As I hinted, I may be the only non-member of a red-state Merican country club who still watches the bills mounting. And I do this even though it gives me pain. I was raised with the idea that frugality is a virtue.

And so, my advice to Merican friends remains: “Vote Trump. He will be slightly cheaper.”